miss november left the land of the mounties for the colorado mountains and a dream winter as a ski instructor
If Danielle de Vabre ever becomes an author, as she hopes to eventually, it's a good bet that she'll write about a young French-Canadian girl who spends a perfect winter as a ski instructor in the Colorado Rockies. Not only is the sport a favorite subject of hers but the plot happens to be autobiographical. "The idea of skiing in the Rockies grew in my mind while I was in high school," explains the slope-minded native of Montreal. 'I'd skied the Laurentians in Canada for years and often heard people discuss the high elevation and deep powder of the Colorado ranges." So, a year and a half ago, after her graduation from high school, Danielle's parents agreed that, before beginning her English-literature studies at a Montreal college, she should have her dream adventure in the Western U.S. "My parents knew that if I started school right away, I would resent being there and, consequently, my concentration would suffer." There was one condition in their agreement, however: Danielle was to finance the trip herself. "I was counting on finding a job as a ski instructor and figured I'd need just enough cash to get me there, plus a little nest egg in case I had a hard time getting work." The problem of how to earn some money was solved after an interview at the local Playboy Club: For the next few months, Danielle worked as a Bunny while waiting to hear from the Colorado resorts to which she'd applied. Finally, she received a positive reply from the Steamboat Springs ski school's Skeeter Werner, sister of the late Olympic skier Bud Werner. "I was elated. I'd already saved enough to pay for my transportation, so I started packing immediately." Danielle confesses to fearing that Colorado would fail to match her high expectations, but that apprehension was forgotten as soon as she saw Steamboat Springs and met Skeeter and the staff. "Steamboat's scenery alone would make the spot charming. But the combination of gorgeous surroundings plus the friendliness of all the people told me instantly that I was going to have a fantastic stay." Danielle showed her zeal by spending most of her free time on the slopes by herself. "I couldn't get enough skiing and I really hated it when the time came to leave, but I'd promised my folks I would stay just four months." Back in Montreal, Danielle soon discovered that her sojourn in Steamboat Springs hadn't quenched her wanderlust. "Some friends I met in Steamboat are spending this season in Norway and they're urging me to come. If I go -- and I'd sure love to -- I'll send home long letters filled with personal impressions and descriptions of the people I meet and the places I visit. And I'll make sure my parents save them. I did that last year and found that it's a great way to gather material for the scene of a possible story." We're sure readers will agree that any scene including delightful Danielle is certainly worth writing home about.
Photography by Dwight Hooker